26 Best Washing Machine Models That Top Load 2016 – 2017

There are literally dozens of variables to consider when it comes to choosing a washing machine, and conflicting reviews make it a mind-boggling experience. When I needed to buy one I couldn’t believe how hard it was — and I’m a former home magazine editor-in-chief (which is only to say that I’m used to making sense of complicated research).

Faced with my family’s growing mound of dirty clothes,  I decided to get down to the bottom of it, literally. I looked at the top-rated, top-loading washing machine reviews on a handful of reputable editorial websites; the ENERGY STAR site; and Home Depot’s website. Then I tallied them together and analyzed the results. Ta-da! You’ll find the answers below — including details on the Maytag Bravos I ended up buying.

26 Best washing machines that top load 2016 - 2017

 

Please keep in mind that there’s really no way to create an ABSOLUTE best list because there are so many variables involved in buying a washing machine. Something that’s perfect for you may lack details that I need, and vice-versa. You need to ask yourself a series of very specific questions just to know what your priorities are.

If you want to skip reading about my methodology, just keep scrolling until you get to the 26 best washing machine model details. If you want to know the nitty-gritty, I’ve first outlined exactly what I did.

[Author’s note: This report was originally published on my previous website Patch of Earth, in April 2016. I checked the Home Depot site again on April 27, 2017 and linked to models that are still available. However, some models without links may be available from other vendors. Also please note the product recall that I listed at the end!]

My Methodology for Choosing the Best Washing Machine Models:

  1. When I did my research, I first narrowed my focus by excluding portable washers and washer-dryer combo machines.

2. Next I chose editorial review websites that seemed to pay careful attention to considering all models before making their choices. I only looked at sites that had explicitly tested 2016 models. These websites were:

3. I also looked at all of the top-rated washing machines in the top-loading category on Home Depot’s website. I picked their website because I buy things there all the time and I find that the appliance savings are usually the best, plus they offer free shipping on most orders over $45. I limited my research here to models that had at least 500 reviews, because I needed some way to narrow them down.

However, this is an imperfect science: You will discover that some machines that made it onto my list have fewer than 500 reviews on Home Depot.com. That’s because they got top ratings on the other sites I looked at.

4. Finally, I looked at the U.S. government’s ENERGY STAR ratings of the most efficient washing machines.


>>Affiliate notice: I research every product I recommend, and I only give high marks to the very best. Some of the links here may be affiliate links, which means I may receive compensation from companies if you purchase from them. This is at no cost to you and it helps me keep this website running. So thanks for helping me! I independently own this site and the opinions expressed here are my own.<<


My Results: The 26 Best Top-Loading Washing Machines of 2016 – 2017

Here’s what I came up with as a result of all this. Scroll down to see my breakdown brand by brand, and model by model.

Note that the prices listed are based on Home Depot’s website prices from the day that I wrote this article (in April 2016). Within each brand I’ve listed the models in descending order by price. A few models that made it onto the lists I reviewed have since been discontinued, so I didn’t include them here.

LG – 7 models total

WT1501CW
4.5 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Front Control Top Load Washer in White, ENERGY STAR
$575

LG WT1501CW is one of the best washing machines
LG WT1501CW

 

WT5270CW
4.9 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer in White, ENERGY STAR
$646

WT1101CW
4.1 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Front Control Top Load Washer in White, ENERGY STAR
$674

WT1701CW
4.9 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Front Control Top Load Washer in White, ENERGY STAR
$748

WT5480CW
5.0 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer in White, ENERGY STAR
$899

WT5680HVA (it appeared on 2 lists)
5.0 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer with Steam in Graphite Steel ENERGY STAR
$948

WT7700HVA
5.7 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer with Steam in Graphite Steel, ENERGY STAR
(note: on Home Depot this only has a 3.5 out of 5 rating, out of 27 reviews total, but it was highly rated on other sites)
$1,249

Whirlpool – 6 models total

WTW4815EW
3.5 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer in White
$358

WTW5000DW
4.3 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer in White
$439

Whirlpool WTW5000DW is one of the best washing machine models
Whirlpool WTW5000DW

 

WTW7000DW
Cabrio 4.8. cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer in White
$519

WTW7300DW
Cabrio 4.8 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer with Steam in White, ENERGY STAR
$549

WTW8500DC
Cabrio 5.3 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer with Steam in Chrome Shadow, ENERGY STAR
$748

WTW8500DW
Cabrio 5.3 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer with Steam in White, ENERGY STAR
$989

Maytag – 5 models total (also owned by the Whirlpool Corporation):

MVWC415EW
3.6 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer in White
$378

MVWB835DW
3.6 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer in White
$378

MVWX655DW
Bravos 4.3 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer in White
$630

This is the washing machine I ended up buying after all my research! I absolutely love it because it’s perfect for my family’s needs. It holds TONS of laundry, so I find that I do fewer loads overall. I can actually wash a few blankets at once (including king-sized). Plus I find that my clothes don’t come out super wrinkled because there’s no center post — it’s just one big, open tub.

I really like the old-fashioned knobs. It’s very basic and easy to use; no computer panel to deal with. Aesthetically I really like the glass door, though I can’t say it’s ever been useful to be able to see the clothes spinning.

The water-saving feature means that it comes out in a continuous trickle and the tub won’t fill above the clothes unless you tell it to. When I first got it I thought it couldn’t possibly be using enough water. But my clothes always come out clean and our water bill hasn’t gone up at all.

I have no complaints, except a word of warning: It takes longer for a load to complete washing because of the energy-saving feature. I think it’s worth it.

The washing machine I bought after all this: The Maytag Bravos MVWX655DW
The washing machine I bought after all this: The Maytag Bravos MVWX655DW

 

Two more things worth noting about this washer (with gorgeous photos from my laundry closet):

  1. It has a 10-year warranty! (Ignore that wire shelf reflected on the glass door; it’s my shelf with lots of stuff on it.) And yeah, it’s a limited parts warranty, but 10 years sounds like a good long time to me.

 

Maytag Bravos washing machine 10-year warranty
Maytag Bravos washing machine 10-year warranty

 

2) It’s “designed, engineered, and assembled in the U.S.A.” For any American who’s taken a look around their home recently and noticed how many things aren’t made here anymore, I think this is a very cool fact. I personally love supporting local companies.

Maytag Bravos is made in the USA
Maytag Bravos is made in the USA

 

MVWC555DW
Centennial 4.3 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer in White
$539

MVWB755DW
4.8 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer with Steam in White, ENERGY STAR
$674

GE – 2 models total:

GTW460ASJWW
4.2 cu. ft. Top Load Washer in White
$477

GTW680BSJWS
4.6 cu. ft. Top Load Washer in White, ENERGY STAR
$536

GE GTW680BSJWS is one of the best washing machine models
GE GTW680BSJWS

Amana – 1 models total (owned by The Whirlpool Corporation):

NTW4605EW
3.5 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer in White
$338

Kenmore – 1 model total:

25132
4.3 cu. ft. Top Load Washer with Exclusive Triple Action Impeller, White
$479 at Sears (not available from Home Depot when I checked)

Speed Queen – 1 model total:

AWN432SP
3.3 cu. ft. Top Load Washer, White
$799 from Amazon (not available from Home Depot when I checked)

Samsung – 3 models total:

VERY IMPORTANT UPDATE!! Samsung had a giant recall of its top-loading washing machines in November 2016 due to injuries. That includes the three on this list. I’m leaving them on the list in case anyone who read this before the recall (and bought one) happens to revisit this article. If you bought one of these, contact Samsung immediately. They can repair it or give you a rebate. Here’s a link to the report on the recall.

WA45H7000AW
4.5 cu. ft. Top Load Washer in White, ENERGY STAR
$547

WA52J8700AP
5.2 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer with Activewash in Platinum, ENERGY STAR
$998

WA56H9000AP
5.6 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer with Steam in Platinum, ENERGY STAR
$1,248


Do you have questions about buying a washing machine?

Please let me know what you think of this list by leaving a comment below, or if you think I need to make any corrections. This is complicated stuff, but hopefully my research will help you find a model you’ll be happy with.

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